Increasingly over the last decade, Australia has been a musical hotbed, exporting top acts such as Silverchair, Missy Higgins, John Butler Trio and more. Nowhere is this more evident, than in the country music world, with Aussie acts like Keith Urban topping the US Charts, and others like Kasey Chambers and Paul Kelly gaining in popularity. The latest addition to these ranks is the McClymonts.
Sisters Brooke, Mollie, and Samantha McClymont’s newest effort, “Wrapped Up Good”, recently released stateside, is a solid, 12-song set of New-Country ear candy. Owing much of their sound to late 90’s American country such as the Dixie Chicks & Shania Twain, these siblings seem to know just what is hot in Nashville right now, and how to hit all the right notes. Backed expertly by a rowdy band, these girls tear through songs like the opener “Kick it Up” where they promise to party you into tomorrow, big ballads like “A Woman is a Flame”, and the bouncy title track, “Wrapped Up Good” that evokes images of a collaboration between Faith Hill and 90’s pop sensation Wilson Phillips. “He Used to Love Me” is a Sugarland-esque pop-rocker, although seemingly penned by the girl that the book “He’s Just Not That into You” was written for.
Some pretty clunky lyrics more suited for a Disney Channel act (“You should have seen his little cutie-face when I said let’s get married and run off”-the Boy Who Cried Love) at times threaten to derail this album, but standout banjo and fiddle performances, a spot-on Nashville production job by Adam Anders of ‘Glee’ fame, and of course the strong lead and harmony vocals that the band is known for bring it all together. This album will keep fans of Miranda, Martina, and newcomers like Laura Bell Bundy (as well as all the above mentions artists) bouncing down the highway with these songs blasting from their speakers. Expect to see these girls a lot in the future!
[box type=”info”] Connor Christian is the voice behind the popular Atlanta band, Connor Christian & Southern Gothic. Playing sold out shows from Atlanta to New York, you will be seeing more of them in the coming years. Check out Connor at The Tavern on Bells Ferry Rd (yes OTP) this coming Saturday November 19th. [/box]
Transistor-on Takes “The Way Back Down” on EP
Transistor-on calls their goods “fuzzed out reverb music,” and in the spirit of post-rock, EP The Way Back Down is full of that melodious texture and sensation. Recorded at The Cottage with Damon Moon, The Way Back Down is a mere four tracks. But those songs make a satisfying sampling of a band with a big future ahead.
Atlanta duo Joey Piersante and Chris Armistead offer up a hazy fugue state that is the blueprint for this coming summer, showing that they can run with the best of the lo-fi crowd with their unique rhythms and finger-picking. The minimalist use of instruments that whip up the dream poppy wall of sound succeeds in taking the listener in a layered, chill journey.
Tracks like “Calling Out” and “Solar Flare” are so catchy (the former with its title refrain; the latter with its main guitar melody), that they etch onto your brain and trick you into thinking these are songs that have been around for maybe 20 years or so already.
Reviewers are throwing out comparisons—and they’ll continue to—of Transistor-on to Explosions in the Sky. The similarities are there for sure; both bands share a genre, after all. But saying only “they remind me of Explosions in the Sky” overlooks the fact that Transistor-on are stepping out in earnest on this EP, sounding comfortable in their skin without being jaded. Plus, having smoky vocals on the tracks adds to the spacey miasma and mystery that serves as the overarching feel of the record. The singing on “Empty Planet,” for example, highlights the track’s slow burn into its rocking guitar-driven crescendo.
Though the last piece on The Way Back Down is called “Exit,” by no means is that a harbinger of the band’s future. Transistor-on closes with a sure-footed tapestry of distortion and crisp rhythm, wrapping up a consistent and skillful release that definitely marks their arrival.
The Way Back Down is available to stream on SoundCloud or for purchase on iTunes. The gorgeous photo cover by Richard Casteel.
Muse “Drones” Review
Emily Hearn Saves Time in a Bottle on “Hourglass”
Emily Hearn’s sonic journey on Hourglass shows that she is a woman coming into her own, figuring out the knots of past heartache, the bliss of newlywed life, and the passage of time.
Time acts as the overarching narrative on the record; Hourglass spans the two years following the Athens, GA native’s debut Red Balloon and 2013 EP Promises. “We fall in or out of love as time moves us,” she explains. “We learn life-changing lessons as time goes on. We figure out how to handle important relationships as time shapes us. We decide who we want to be and what we believe as time reveals our priorities. And ultimately, we grow older as time goes by.”
Hearn sings wistfully “Oh, to be young, and to have time” on the third track “Oak Tree,” longing for the naïve feeling that time would never move forward, or at least not so fast. She frets over seeing her parents age so quickly. The existential worries of a twenty-something come delivered in a package of a catchy, infectious chorus and clap-along-able melody.
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